Welcome back, folks. Hope all is going well and that those April showers brought lots of beautiful May flowers and please take a moment to stop, smell and enjoy them.
I grew up on the streets of the Bronx, a few blocks from Yankee Stadium during a much simpler time. Mickey Mantle was my hero, Davy Crockett was my fashion maven and Miss Joan on Romper Room was telling me to be a good do-bee. Television was only black and white but we had 7 stations to choose from and all actually signed off the air late at night. That was fine as we spent a lot of time outside playing stoop ball, stickball, red rover, and hula hoop while inside was entertained with colorforms, silly putty, and slinky. We never heard of an active shooter as the only drills we had were either fire or duck and cover from the A-bomb. We always said please and thank you, respectful of our elders and taught the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Treat others as you want to be treated. So simple, so easy. But somewhere the message has gone awry and fallen on deaf corporate ears.
The first time I saw one was soon after PG&E murdered eight innocent human beings in San Bruno, California whose only crimes was going about their lives. Now, in the last week, I’ve seen several companies advertising on the air, not pushing a new product or must have service but to apologize. Yes! I’m sure you’ve seen them as well as Uber, Wells Fargo and Facebook are all currently apologizing for their bad behavior which was screwing over the very customers that support and make them $$$$$. The apologies are all the same, well produced with lots of words and promises while in the background pictures of people working hard. “We’re sorry, we got blinded by all the cash coming in and that’s why we didn’t hear you or actually think we had to listen but now that we were caught we are sorry and promise you that things will change. Really! Cross our heart” PG&E’s ad campaign has morphed over the years from, sorry we killed but we’re rehabilitated to look our workers are people just like you!
I understand it’s no longer the simple world I grew up in as a child due to all the advances and discoveries in technology and medicine, (although the flying cars I was promised in 5th grade have yet to materialize, listening Elon?) but when did ethics, morals, decency and integrity become passe? Is there no place for them in this brave new world? Can companies only compete and make profits without caring for life an limb or being unethical? I know they were beliefs from the past but how can you have a culture continue without ethics, morals or integrity? In France, they think it’s pretty important. When you are sworn in before giving testimony in court, you don’t swear to tell the truth so help you God but swear to tell the truth on your honor.
However, Companies are not just expected to demonstrate ethics, morals or integrity but accountability as well as is the case in California. Two Charged In Death Of Forklift Operator. The owner and a manager of Good View Roofing and Building Supply have been charged with involuntary manslaughter and labor code violations by the San Francisco district attorney’s office in relation to the death of an employee pinned under a forklift. If you know you are putting employees in danger, it has come to the point where you could wind up spending some serious time in jail. If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.
Unfortunately, companies that lack ethics or integrity are located throughout the world. In England, a company thought it would speed things up if they disabled a safety feature on the compactor. Firm ordered to pay almost £300k after worker’s legs crushed. Oh, and they didn’t let the workers know that. How special. If you ever see anyone, that is anyone, boss, owner, fellow worker disable any safety feature on a piece of equipment you yell out loud for the whole world to hear, this is not acceptable. Then call OSHA’s hotline at 1 – 800 – 321 – 6742. Don’t become a statistic.
Two dead after falling 70 feet in elevator lift collapse in Naples. Another tragic headline that could have been avoided. I don’t understand why they weren’t tied off to prevent them from falling? Isn’t that the whole idea in safety and PPE, to prepare for the unexpected and prevent it from killing us? A company that cared would have insisted on it but we shake our heads, think how awful this is for them and their families and then we’re back to our lives. We’re becoming too complacent of others dying.
I understand we’re all busy. Busy busy busy. So busy that we must conduct business anywhere and everywhere including our cars. Now I don’t have anything so important going that I need to take a call while driving. I don’t need to look at a text message as soon as it hits. But, apparently, there are those out there who just can’t wait. What used to be the talent of common sense for most people has been lost to the point laws are having to be passed. Maryland Gov. Hogan signs Slow Down to Get Around law. Now laws are only as good as their enforcement but come on people. Give all service vehicles, fire, police, ambulance, trash space. They stop suddenly and usually have someone working around the vehicle. Better yet, while driving, enjoy the view of the world through your windshield and mirrors with your undivided attention and maybe we can all have a day where there won’t be headlines about the death of a worker.
Don’t be part of the problem. Just because someone else is not honorable or unethical don’t lower yourself to their level. Be above it a treat everyone mindfully and as always, never keep quiet about safety, for the life you save may be your own.